Scientists have identified a drug that extends egg viability in worms and could theoretically extend womens fertility by three to six years. “As early as the mid-30s, women start to experience declines in fertility, increased rates of miscarriage and maternal age-related birth defects,” said Coleen Murphy from the Princeton University in the US.
“All of these problems are thought to be caused by declining egg quality, rather than a lack of eggs,” said Murphy.
The researchers used a microscopic worm, Caenorhabditis elegans (C elegans), to study longevity.
For the study, published in the journal Current Biology, they investigated downregulated group of proteins, cathepsin B proteases, that are rare in high-quality eggs and more common in eggs that have begun degrading with age.